Back in September, 100 riders set out and got to pedaling on the inaugural Silk Road Mountain Race, a 1,700-kilometer bikepacking trek through Kyrgyzstan. Only about 30 of them finished. All told there were 27,000 meters of climbing. There was desert, bog, and rutted-out road riding, lots of which was above 4,000 meters of elevation. And all of it totally and completely remote. Competitors faced their difficulties entirely self-supported, too. Miles of bike-carrying were the norm. As were freezing temperatures. Blistering hot temps too—pick your suffering, this race had it. Race though isn’t really the right word. Though there was, technically, a winner, Jay Petervary, it was more of an organized adventure struggle. Next one is this August, if you’re feelin’ up fer it.

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